February 8, 2023

Naira Scarcity: Fine-tune policy to reduce peoples’ suffering , ANAN tells CBN

…Says policy not impacting on value of dollar

By Emmanuel Elebeke

As Nigerians continue to grown over the scarcity of naira, the President and Chairman of Council the Council,   the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, ANAN, Prof.  Benjamin Osisioma has called on the Central bank of Nigeria to fine-tune its cashless policy measure to bring some respite to the suffering millions of citizens.

Prof. Osisoma made the appeal on Tuesday at the three day Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Programme of ANAN for FCT branch holding in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, with the theme: Understanding Financial Disclosures on Sustainability.

He said the CBN may have good intension by reddening the naira to force everybody to turn in all the naira in their possession but with the unpalatable outcome of the implementation, the apex bank has no option than to revisit the policy to make life better for the people.

‘‘I think the CBN has to fine-tune this policy measure so that it will not work on the technical effect of the people. People are suffering. Fuel, money and food is not there. That is not the intension.

‘‘The important thing is to monitor the development, fine-tune and bring these things under control, so that the economy will operate more smoothly.’’

‘‘I want to belief that what the CBN is trying to do is trying to drive the goal of sustainability for the entire economy. If you look at what is happening, it was as if the volume of naira  in circulation has run beyond what the Central bank could control.

It was a clever move to change the currency, forcing everybody to turn in. Nobody can take more than N20,000 from the counter. It reminds of the days of Biafra, where at the end nobody was allowed to take more than N20 and we survived, we will survive.

‘‘My concern is that the policy has not really impacted on the value the dollar, the way I think it should, even on the price of goods in the market. I thought that with money becoming more scarce, prices will drop but they are not dropping. Some people are finding a way of circumventing these controls’’, he said.

In his presentation, the Special guest of honour, Alh. Sani Tambuwa said the choice of the theme of the event was timely now the public financial system in Nigeria is opaque and requires thorough scrutiny.

He said that economic environment in Nigeria is highly vulnerable to the impact of natural disaster and phenomenon and argued that Nigeria is far behind other nations on financial disclosures.

Quoting a World Bank report, Tambuwa said, Nigeria’s corporate report practices are substandard and not in tandem with best practice in the world.

He noted that many entities, corporate and individuals in Nigeria engage in financial disclosure only and do not comply with voluntary disclosure of information, noting that the trail of non compliance in the country to global standard is worrisome.

‘‘Recent empirical studies carried out by World Bank and other scholars on financial disclosure practice in different jurisdiction reveal that  Nigeria’s corporate report  practice are substandard and nor in tandem with best practice.

‘‘Many entities, corporate and individuals engage in financial disclosure only and do not comply with voluntary disclosure of information.  The trail of non compliance to voluntary financial disclosure particularly by corporate entities which acquired centrally 2008 financial crises in Nigeria is unsafe for the economy.

‘‘Online reporting is not taking root in developing countries unlike the developed nations due to lack of financial inclusion. The financial service sector remain economic driver of many country, it provides free capital and liquidity flow in the market place. When the financial service is robust, it pushes the economy to grow and enable the industry players to manage the risk optimally.

‘‘Nigeria needs strong financial services sector because it is capable of propelling economic growth, while weak financial service sector is capable of pulling down the nation’s economy’’.

In his paper presentation titled: Issues in Goal Setting, Metrics and Risk Management, a guest speaker, Dr. Olayinka Odutola said that risk management fail because some people feel indifferent thinking that the duty of preventing a risk from occurring  is meant for some people.

To checkmate risk, he called for increase in monitoring and communication of risk factors and also understands who the target audience are.

‘‘Risk is like fire, if it is not well taken care of, it would consume all. We have to increase monitoring, risk communication and to communicate risk effectively; we need to understand who the target audiences are, as well as the challenges you are likely to face in assessing the risk.

‘‘Again, communicating the value risk function brings to an organization. It allows for proactive risk management.  As organization, identify and escalate issues either as they arise or before they are realised to take a proactive approach to managing risk.

‘‘If you don’t communicate risk very well, you are compounding it. Let people know what is happening in the organization. If your ambassadors are not carried along in communicating what risk that exists, the end of that organization is near’’.